Translations – The Canons of Cyriacus of Antioch

Translated from the French of F. Nau. Les canons et les résolutions canoniques de Rabboula, Jean de Tella, Cyriaque d’Amid, Jacque d’Édesse, Georges des Arabes, Cyriaque d’Antioch, Jean III, Théodose d’Antioche et des Perses. Ancienne Litterature Canonique Syriaque. Volume 2. 1903

177. He who buys fields from the Church, or who steals them for him, will be anathematized until he returns them.

178. All those who go to monasteries or churches of heretics and give offerings and vows, will do penance or be separated.

179. Whoever takes silver coins from clerics, if he is not a hotelkeeper or bursar, will be separated until he returns.

180. The bursars of the church cannot take anything out of the treasury of the church without the bishop or his substitute and one of the priests. Everything that enters the church will be noted by them in due time and registered in the small memorial (fvwsiç), until the end of the year when the inventory of the treasure is made and when it is registered in the great memorial

181 If priests and deacons go along a deserted road, and they have a cup and a paten, the deacon will carry the paten in his right hand and the cup in his left hand and he will serve as an altar, and the priest will offer (the holy sacrifice) in case of need.

182. If there happens to be a place of burial in the church, the holy priests cannot make themselves tombs in the churches and defile them; it is indeed their (divine) Master who will come to their aid and not (the situation of) their tombs; it would also be feared that their bones would later pass for the bones of martyrs and that they would be guilty of having furnished a cause of error to the faithful.

183. Priests cannot offer (the holy sacrifice) on the holy tables without tablets sanctified by Orthodox bishops, nor on cloth or skin, nor on a consecrated tablet which is broken, or damaged, or sanctified by the heretics.

184. The portion of wine that remains and has not been consecrated on this day will be consecrated on the following days and, if it is corrupted, only a drop will be taken for communion.

185. God does not allow the bishop and the priest to offer (the holy sacrifice) twice in one day nor to offer twice in one day on an altar, that is to say on a (same) Tablet.

186. The priest, the deacon, any faithful and any faithful who have reached twenty years of age and above cannot break the fast on Wednesday and Friday, except during the fifty days of Pentecost, unless they find themselves sick, or in affliction, or compelled, and (unless it be) a pregnant woman and a nurse.

187. No faithful, man or woman, can fast on Sunday or Saturday, except in case of necessity, except on Holy Saturday.

188. Any faithful and any faithful who does not fast during Lent will be separated from the Church, as well as anyone who drinks wine or something analogous to wine (on fasting days), from twenty years and above.

189. The weekday priest will sleep at night in the church throughout the week and will carry out his work with care.

190. The clerics and the faithful cannot enter before a month has elapsed in any house where there have been funeral complaints and lamentations, not even to bring communion to the one who dies.

191. God does not allow the priest or deacon who abandons the funeral procession of a stranger to follow another, to receive a reward for this, nor to be given it. The same applies to those who do not accompany the dead from the door of the house to the door of the tomb.

192. The government of the altar will belong to the archdeacon and, if he is removed, his second (deuteros), as well as Catholic teaching and the reading of the apostles on Sunday feast days and during weeks of fasting. If the bishop is present, these functions fall to him. Otherwise we will leave it to the deacons.

193. When the archdeacon appoints another for preaching or reading, the one who has been appointed cannot appoint another, but, if he does not want to preach or read, he will indicate it to the archdeacon.

194. When there is a quarrel between the clerics, the archdeacon will punish the culprit, but will wait until the end of the office so as not to cause trouble. If, however, he cannot bear the bitterness of altercations and disputes, he will bring out the bold.

195. A cleric who uses bonds and amulets will be excommunicated; whoever finds the casters, the soothsayers, the amulet makers or those who write tickets for fevers, will be separated.

196. A sub-deacon under the age of ten shall not be ordained, and that only after he has finished all the psalms of David. The degree (of the seat) of the altar will not be kept for him until the diaconate. The oldest will be first.

197. The subdeacon cannot give peace to the altar, except once, at the time of his ordination. For he is not the servant of the altar, but of the temple he cannot receive communion at the altar either.

198. Exorcists were different then from those who baptize.

199. The book which bears the name of Hierotheos is not by him, but seems to be by Stephen Bar Sudaili the heretic.

200. A bishop will not ordain a monk without the letters of the superior and the brothers.

201. God does not allow a woman monk to go to the baths, nor to wash her body in water, or to wear clothes of cotton or other fabrics, except for clothes of wool, nor to let grow her hair, but she will cut it, nor to go into the public squares, or to circulate in the houses, or to eat bread outside her convent.

202. God does not allow any man to enter a monastery of sisters, unless it is the priest or the deacon who gives them communion.

203. All the nuns will be gathered together in the same dwelling and will remain. An elderly one will be chosen who will be their service for all that is required.

204. He who marries a woman by the blessing of the ring is not permitted to have intercourse with her before the nuptial feast, otherwise he will be anathematized.

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